Colorado Water Plan protects precious resource for future generations Email
Written by Katie Weeman   
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Water conservation at the local level is a critical and ongoing focus of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and the Colorado Water Plan, essential to help reduce the risk of future municipal shortages and keep water in our streams. The CWCB supports water conservation efforts through funding, programs and special initiatives that help Colorado envision and realize a more water-wise future. The CWCB funds many projects through the Colorado Water Plan Grant program, and Conservation and Land Use is one of the categories within that grant program. The Water Plan also speaks to the importance of advancing water conservation, land use planning, and alternative water supplies (e.g., water reuse). Consequently, the CWCB funds many entities working to advance these efforts, whether building local capacity to institute water smart land use policies, investing in big xeriscaping projects, or even developing a mobile direct potable reuse demonstration trailer.  

Programmatically, the CWCB often runs conservation-oriented efforts. In fact, the CWCB runs the nation’s largest voluntary water loss training program, an initiative that helps cities reduce water loss in their delivery systems. It also manages the state’s new Turf Replacement Program, which provides matching funds to eligible entities (e.g. water utilities) to advance local turf removal projects or rebates. 

The CWCB also takes on many special initiatives, some of which are outlined in the agency actions in the water plan. Often CWCB’s efforts are multifaceted. For example, Action 1.7 of the water plan identifies turf replacement as essential to support transformative landscape change and reduce municipal water use while maintaining resilient, livable, and attractive outdoor environments. To help understand how to advance these efforts, Colorado Governor Jared Polis tasked CWCB with managing a 21-person Urban Landscape Conservation Task Force to explore what suite of tools might exist or need to be considered to help to continue to drive down outdoor water use while still maintaining benefits that range from housing affordability to protecting trees and pollinators. The task force will continue to meet through the end of 2023 with the goal of producing a final set of considerations in the new year. 

Across all these efforts, CWCB remains committed to its mission: to conserve, develop, protect and manage Colorado’s water for present and future generations. As part of this, a clear focus on reducing outdoor water use and building tomorrow’s landscapes today means more closely aligning land use plans, water use, and water conservation. Learn more about what CWCB is up to at or engage